The headline news and moves from a typically chaotic transfer deadline day
It was another busy transfer deadline day for clubs across Europe. The Premier League transfer window “SLAMMED SHUT!” at 11pm, with clubs in England having had to finalise deals before that time.
There were plenty of comings and goings as the hours trickled down, with some huge names arriving in the Premier League from overseas. There were also a few eye-catching singings between big clubs on the continent.
Here is a quick round-up of the important bits you might have missed …
Premier League headlines
Chelsea have loaned Atletico’s deep-lying playmaker Saul Niguez on a season-long loan. The 26-year-old had been looking for a new challenge after failing to make Spain’s Euro 2020 squad, and will provide competition for N’golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho in Thomas Tuchel’s midfield. There is an option to buy the player for £30 million next summer. The Blues also loaned Tiemoue Bakayoko to AC Milan.
Manchester United finalised the permanent signing of Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus. The 36-year-old striker returns to the club where he won three Premier League titles and a Champions League before departing for Real Madrid in 2009 for a then-world record fee. The price was confirmed at £12.86m.
Staying with the Red Devils, Dan James was sold to Leeds United for £25m, after growing frustrated at the lack of playing time during his two year stint at Old Trafford. Marcelo Bielsa had tried to sign James before the Welshman joined Manchester United in 2019, and will be excited to finally get his hands on a player known for his speed and work rate.
Arsenal cut ties with Willian, who joined former Corinthians on a free transfer. They also loaned Reiss Nelseon to Feyenoord and stalwart right back Hector Bellerin to Real Betis, both until the end of the season. The Spaniard has been a fixture of Gunners sides since joining from Barcelona’s youth academy in 2011, but has seen his star fade in recent seasons and is said to be unhappy in north London. There is no option to buy on either of the loanees.
Arsenal have brought in defensive reinforcements, however, after snapping up Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna in a £17.8m deal. The Japan international can play centre back or right back and will provide competition for the clutch of shaky defenders currently in Mikel Arteta’s squad.
After allowing Ivorian right back Serge Aurier to leave on a free transfer, Spurs moved to land Emerson Royal from Barcelona for a fee of around £22m. The Brazilian made just three appearances for the Catalan giants after excelling for Real Betis before that. The 22-year-old will compete with Matt Doherty for the No 2 position.
Leicester City have loaned 23-year-old Ademola Lookman from RB Leipzig, with no option to buy. The English winger made 35 appearances for relegated Fulham last campaign, and was one of the few bright sparks at Craven Cottage during a torrid campaign for the west-London club.
Solomon Rondon is reuniting with Rafa Benitez after swapping Chinese Super League club Dalian Pro for Everton in the dying minutes of the transfer window. The free signing means Venezuelan Rondon will have played under the Spaniard three times, having previously worked with the coach at Newcastle before following him to China in 2019. Meanwhile, French striker Moise Kean was loaned to Juventus.
Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace landed a much-needed striker in the form of Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard. The 23-year-old Frenchman, who scored 57 league goals in 94 games for the Scottish giants, has signed a four-year-deal at Selhurst Park, with the transfer fee thought to be around £14m.
Brighton finally landed long-term target Marc Cucurella from Spanish club Getafe in a hefty £15.5m deal. The 23-year-old can play as a winger or a left back. Nikola Vlasic is back in the Premier League, after West Ham paid CSKA Moscow £25m for the Croatian No 10. The 23-year-old previously failed to live up to expectations at Everton. Schalke’s Ozan Kabak has been loaned to Norwich City after Liverpool rejected the chance to sign him on a permanent basis at the end of last season.
In a move few saw coming before the final day of the transfer window, Barcelona sold Antoine Griezmann back to Ateltico Madrid after two disappointing seasons at the Nou Camp. Griezmann joined Barcelona for £109m in 2019, but has scored just 22 league goals in 74 appearances. He rejoins Diego Simeone’s side, where he scored 94 league goals in 180 appearances, in a £35m deal.
The Catalan club also convinced captain Sergio Busquets and fellow stalwart Jordi Alba to take pay cuts, in order to finalise the signing of free agent Sergio Aguero.
Real Madrid missed out on Kylian Mbappe, with PSG reportedly rejecting a €200m offer on deadline day. The French club now risk losing him on a free transfer when his contract expires next summer. Mbappe will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with Real (or indeed any of Europe’s top clubs) in January 2022. Los Blancos didn’t end the day empty-handed, however, bringing in highly rated defensive midfielder Eduardo Camavinga in a £30m deal from Rennes. RB Leipzig saw another key figure leave for Bayern Munich after Austrian international midfielder Marcel Sabitzer opted to rejoin former boss Julian Nagelsmann in Bavaria in a €15m deal. They also lost Dayot Upamecano to the champions in the summer.
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